Published: 13:18, 26 June 2020
| Updated: 13:20, 26 June 2020
A blanket 20mph limit will be enforced across a Kent town from this summer, it has been confirmed.
Following a five-year campaign to get council bosses to back the initiative, the '20's Plenty' project for Faversham has been given the go-ahead to be trialled.
The scheme will last for six months and be enforced across every road in the heart of the town - including all streets within the boundaries of the London Road, Western Link and Love Lane.
Work installing 20mph signs and road markings is due to start within the next four weeks and be completed by August.
Cabinet member for highways and transport, Michael Payne, said: “I’m grateful that we’ve been able to get this plan off the ground and, because of the timescales involved, it will be a little different to how we usually do things.
“Throughout this trial we will be monitoring how it performs and consulting with people on whether they approve of the scheme – usually this would happen beforehand.
“There are studies that show 20mph schemes encourage healthier transport choices such as walking and cycling, and they increase levels of walking and cycling by about a fifth.
“I hope this trial will encourage that behaviour from the Faversham community and that they benefit from lower traffic levels, reduced congestion, and less road noise.
“We’re anticipating more people will be travelling to work and to school by bike or on foot so we’re hopeful this change will make a real difference.”
The funding for the scheme was secured after county council the received £1.6 million from the Department for Transport to put towards road safety projects.
With a tight timeframe, KCC is working with Faversham Town Council and its 20s Plenty committee to get this new project up-and-running.
Mr Payne added: “I would encourage all drivers to keep to 20mph in Faversham, it is down solely to you to drive responsibly.
“There will be people who think it doesn’t apply to them or that it’s not enforceable or that it is too slow – we want people to think about the speed they’re doing. Is it appropriate for Faversham’s roads?
“This isn’t only about speeding or even driving at the speed limit, people need to consider the environment they’re driving in, particularly as more pedestrians and cyclists will be on our roads.
“Pedestrians will need to ensure they don’t get complacent and feel that they do not need to be responsible for their own actions because of the lower speed limit.
“Cyclists too will also need to keep to the 20mph limit and cycle within an appropriate speed for the road environment.”
More by this authorJoe Wright